5. California Dreamin’
When it comes to amenities the Fiat 500e features some nice touches. Dominating the center console is a line of buttons that shift the transmission; a colorful seven-inch TFT display serves as the instrument cluster and there’s a dashboard-mounted TomTom navigation system.
The car we tested featured a striking orange-and-white interior that was quite breathtaking. It’s a rarity when automakers offer such bold color schemes, though we’d hazard to bet all those creamy surfaces are a nightmare to keep clean after a year or two of ownership. If one of these cars is in your future you’d better stock up on Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, though the cockpit is also offered in a more understated black and orange color palate.
The Fiat 500e makes a compelling argument for electric cars because it’s extremely polished and refined. Overall it’s a shockingly well-engineered piece of technology. There’s no jerkiness or vibration from the drivetrain and everything performs as it should. If you live in an urban area and can get by with its range limitations and small interior it could be a good option. But, and this is a big caveat, the car is only sold in California where the hippies are thick as thieves on Wall Street! That’s a shame, because it is really good.
Base price for the Fiat 500e is around $32,000, though the company’s consumer site claims there are something like $14,000 in incentives and/or tax credits available, which drops the price to a more reasonable 18 grand.